Johnny Depp

HOLLYWOOD — The on again/off again romance between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is on again … for the moment. Johnny has been quoted as saying he wants to marry her ONE day, while she counters that she won’t take any NONSENSE from him. The bottom line is she wants him to stop the partying and whiskey drinking to prove he’s ready to settle down.

The $250 million “The Lone Ranger” film with Depp in the role of Tonto finally opens July 3. Don’t know when he’ll have time for romance with all the projects on his plate. First, he wants to produce a documentary on Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, his “Pirates of the Caribbean” co-star. Depp is currently shooting “Transcendence,” with Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara and Cillian Murphy, for April 2014 release. Then he’ll star in the fifth Caribbean flick, “On Stranger Tides,” being helmed by “Chicago” director, Rob Marshall. Add to the mix a remake of the William Powell/Myrna Loy film series “The Thin Man.”

In addition, Depp wants to produce and star as comic-book character Rex Mundi and has bought the rights to another comic book, “The Vault.” In September, he’s due to shoot the film version of the multiple Tony Award-winning musical “Into the Woods” in London, under Rob Marshall’s direction. His co-stars are Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, “Smash’s” Marilyn Monroe, Megan Hilty, former “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson and “Phantom of the Opera” film star Patrick Wilson as Prince Charming. Sondheim is adding new songs to the score for the film.

One more part Depp wants to make his own is Carl Kolchak in “The Night Stalker.” The original TV series, with Darren McGavin, was on ABC in the l974/75 season. It was one of my favorite shows, and I was lucky enough to be asked to act on it by Darren McGavin, who also was producing the show. My character, Leon Van Heusen, was a TV repairman by day and a seeker of UFO’s by night. Somehow Leon contacted an extraterrestrial and was lured into the woods, where he was blown to death by gale winds and had his bone marrow sucked out.

When we filmed on the back lot of Universal Studios, my three lines for the scene were drowned out by a waterfall nearby. Luckily, they’d also taped my lines, to be played a second time on a tape recorder Kolchak later found. So McGavin did a voice-over about Leon as they showed the scene. Twenty minutes later, when he found my lifeless body, the audience heard my three lines. For many years, friends kidded me about how I died and then my mouth died 20 minutes later … that’s showbiz!

© 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.